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Monday, April 13, 2015

Today’s Reading | Psalm 91

You who live in the shelter of the Most High,
    who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,
will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress;
    my God, in whom I trust.”
For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
    and from the deadly pestilence;
he will cover you with his pinions,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
You will not fear the terror of the night,
    or the arrow that flies by day,
or the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
    or the destruction that wastes at noonday.

A thousand may fall at your side,
    ten thousand at your right hand,
    but it will not come near you.
You will only look with your eyes
    and see the punishment of the wicked.

Because you have made the Lord your refuge,
    the Most High your dwelling-place,
no evil shall befall you,
    no scourge come near your tent.

For he will command his angels concerning you
    to guard you in all your ways.
On their hands they will bear you up,
    so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the adder,
    the young lion and the serpent you will trample under foot.

Those who love me, I will deliver;
 I will protect those who know my name.
When they call to me, I will answer them;
    I will be with them in trouble,
 I will rescue them and honor them.
With long life I will satisfy them,
    and show them my salvation. (NRSV)

Reflection
The power and promise of Psalm 91 always astonishes me. The words are so full of surety and trust! When I read Psalm 91 I can’t help but think of my father and the way I saw him as a child. He could do no wrong. As long as he was there with me, I was safe. I could take a running leap from the side of the swimming pool into his waiting arms, and he would always catch me. I could jump without hesitation. I could count on him for protection, comfort, and love, no matter what.

And then, somewhere along the line, I decided that my dad didn’t know everything. Oh, he knew a lot about a lot, but I knew a few things too. And maybe on this one occasion I’d make the call for myself. And so I grew up, and my dad became a human being—not a god—full of faults and capable of mistakes, just like I was. I didn’t love him any less, but I saw him differently, and began to question how I felt about the way he wanted things done. In the back of my mind I knew this was a part of growing up, but part of me felt a little sad. I didn’t want the responsibility of making my own decisions all the time! What did I know? There was danger around every turn in the adult world, it seemed. Sometimes I wished I was a child again.

I love Psalm 91 because it takes me back to the trust of a child in her father. In fact, it reminds me that we are all God’s children, cherished and protected, no matter what the world throws at us, what temptations we succumb to, and no matter what sins we’ve committed or how many times we’ve rejected his guidance. God is always there waiting in the world’s vast pool, with his strong arms open and ready to catch us, if only we’ll jump.

Prayer
God, I ask and you always answer. I fear and you calm me. I doubt and you show me the way. Thank you for your protection and eternal love. Amen.

Written by Patty Donmoyer, Receptionist

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